2 U.S. Code §386. Deposition

Section Text

(a) Oral examination

Either party may take the testimony of any person, including the opposing party, by deposition upon oral examination for the purpose of discovery or for use as evidence in the contested election case, or for both purposes. Depositions shall be taken only within the time for the taking of testimony prescribed in this section.

(b) Scope of examination

Witnesses may be examined regarding any matter, not privileged, which is relevant to the subject matter involved in the pending contested election case, whether it relates to the claim or defense of the examining party or the claim or defense of the opposing party, including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition and location of any books, papers, documents, or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons having knowledge of relevant facts. After the examining party has examined the witness the opposing party may cross examine.

(c) Order and time of taking testimony

The order in which the parties may take testimony shall be as follows:

(1) Contestant may take testimony within thirty days after service of the answer, or, if no answer is served within the time provided in section 383 of this title, within thirty days after the time for answer has expired.

(2) Contestee may take testimony within thirty days after contestant’s time for taking testimony has expired.

(3) If contestee has taken any testimony or has filed testimonial affidavits or stipulations under section 387(c) of this title, contestant may take rebuttal testimony within ten days after contestee’s time for taking testimony has expired.

(d) Officer before whom testimony may be taken

Testimony shall be taken before an officer authorized to administer oaths by the laws of the United States or of the place where the examination is held.

(e) Subpena

Attendance of witnesses may be compelled by subpena as provided in section 388 of this title.

(f) Taking of testimony by party or his agent

At the taking of testimony, a party may appear and act in person, or by his agent or attorney.

(g) Conduct of examination; recordation of testimony; notation of objections; interrogatories

The officer before whom testimony is to be taken shall put the witness under oath and shall personally, or by someone acting under his direction and in his presence, record the testimony of the witness. The testimony shall be taken stenographically and transcribed. All objections made at the time of examination to the qualifications of the officer taking the deposition, or to the manner of taking it, or to the evidence presented, or the conduct of any party, and any other objection to the proceedings, shall be noted by the officer upon the deposition. Evidence objected to shall be taken subject to the objections. In lieu of participating in the oral examination, a party served with a notice of deposition may transmit written interrogatories to the officer, who shall propound them to the witness and record the answers verbatim.

(h) Examination of deposition by witness; signature of witness or officer; use of deposition

When the testimony is fully transcribed, the deposition shall be submitted to the witness for examination and shall be read to or by him, unless such examination and reading are waived by the witness and the parties. Any changes in the form or substance which the witness desires to make shall be entered upon the deposition by the officer with a statement of the reasons given by the witness for making them. The deposition shall be signed by the witness, unless the parties by stipulation waive the signing or the witness is ill or cannot be found or refuses to sign. If the deposition is not signed by the witness, the officer shall sign it and note on the deposition the fact of the waiver or of the illness or the absence of the witness or the fact of refusal to sign together with the reason, if any, given therefor; and the deposition may then be used as fully as though signed, unless on a motion to suppress, the committee rules that the reasons given for the refusal to sign require rejection of the deposition in whole or in part.

Editorial Notes

EFFECTIVE DATE Section applicable with respect to any general or special election for Representative in, or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress of the United States occurring after Dec. 5, 1969, see section 19 of Pub. L. 91–138, set out as a note under section 381 of this title.


2 U.S.C. § 386 (2018)